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Yaser Matar: The Title Race Has not been Decided Yet

News 17 March 2015
Al Jazira’s Yaser Matar insists the 2014/15 Arabian Gulf League title race is far from over yet, despite losing their place at the top to Al Ain, who have now opened up a 6-point gap.
Speaking exclusively to, the midfielder stressed the importance of working on achieving positive results in the remaining 8 rounds of the League, saying: “We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities in our last two games against Al Dhafra and Al Ain, and we made some footballing mistakes. But now we must only think about our upcoming games, and we must treat all matches as cup finals as we continue to pursue the title.”
A win against their next opponents Al Nasr is essential for keeping Al Jazira’s hopes of reclaiming the top spot in the table alive, and Matar is certain that his side has what it takes to get the required three points in Round 20. “When we play to our best abilities no team is capable of stopping us. We must keep focused and we expect to win; this is our mentality, and winning becomes a habit,” the 29-year-old said.
Having made 12 League appearances for the Pride of Abu Dhabi this season, Matar’s starting place is not always guaranteed, but the experienced Emirati trusts in head coach Eric Gerets’ team selection. “I am fit, so the coach’s decision is the main factor in whether I will play or not. All players chosen for the starting line-up complement each other and we have many talented players capable of helping us to achieve good results,” Matar said. But whilst Al Jazira’s attack have glittered so far this season, boasting the joint-highest number of goals scored (49), they have suffered from defensive frailty, conceding 32 goals in 19 games. “We are benefitting now from the signing of Basheer Saeed in the winter transfer window; he is a player with vast experience who is capable of strengthening our defensive line, and as a team we have to work harder all together to reduce our defensive errors.”